Cancer is of the most complex, feared, and devastating diseases affecting humanity. In the United States alone, about two million new cancer cases are diagnosed each year, and about 600,000 are projected to die of cancer (about 1,600 daily). The best intellectual and technological resources are focused on eliminating cancer through increased understanding, prevention, detection, and treatment. Cancer investigators are working together to address this challenge effectively. They have formed collaborative teams across diverse fields of study (e.g., developmental, biochemical, cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, immunology, epidemiology, genetics, and many others). This multidisciplinary approach provides diverse research opportunities and has made enormous strides in our understanding of cancer biology. Still, some of the most important discoveries await the next generation of scientists.
The Biochemistry and Cancer Biology program (BCB) of Augusta University offers some of the best technological facilities in the world and the innovative training needed to make significant contributions to this critical field of discovery. Joining the BCB team will expand your intellectual horizons and explore the limits of your potential as a next-generation cancer researcher.
"Each student who joins the BCB program becomes a part of a family that works together
to ensure that students are not only successful, but enjoy the journey."
Darren Browning, PhD
Dr. Browning is an internationally recognized expert on cGMP signaling in the gastrointestinal tract. He has published over 60 papers that have been cited 2951 times to date. His expertise and perspectives on the field are sought for review articles, editorials, and invitations to speak at national and international venues. A pivotal discovery from Dr. Browning’s team was that phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors can amplify cGMP signaling in the intestinal epithelium to cause profound effects that highlight this class of drugs for the treatment of constipation, leaky gut associated disorders, and for the prevention of colorectal cancer. Dr. Browning’s colon cancer research was awarded “Best of AACR”, was chosen in 2017 and 2018 as the cover art for Cancer Prevention Research, and has been featured in television and magazine outlets. Dr. Browning peer-reviews manuscripts from top journals, he is ad hoc reviewer for several funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health, and is a long-standing member of an Oncology study section for the Veteran Affairs Administration. The Browning laboratory continues to unravel cGMP signaling mechanisms using cutting-edge intestinal organoid and mouse models, and in collaboration with physicians at the Georgia Cancer Center and Digestive Health Center he is moving his research into the clinic to benefit patients.
In addition to his scientific achievements, Dr. Browning had mentored 26 trainees in his laboratory. He is a top educator at Augusta University, where he teaches biochemistry and signaling to undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and was awarded distinguished teacher award by the Graduate School in 2017. Dr. Browning is also dedicated to educational administration and has served for many years as director for the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology graduate program, and the Augusta University Three-Minute Thesis program.
"We have a very welcoming tight-knit cancer community that fosters the growth of our
students to become leading cancer researchers. I look forward to you being a part
of our research team. "
Bal Lokeshwar, PhD
Dr. Bal Lokeshwar completed his Ph.D. degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India, and performed Post-Doctoral research at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. He was a faculty member in the Department of Urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami Florida, until 2015, after servicing the co-Director of Urology Research and tenured full Professor. He joined Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents University), Augusta GA, in September 2015. As a tenured faculty, Dr. Lokeshwar holds appointments in Medicine, Surgery, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a full member of the Georgia Cancer Center, Medical College of Georgia. He is one of the Dr. J. Harold Harrison MD distinguished University Chairs in basic sciences and Heath Research Scientist at the Charles Norwood VA Medical Center at Augusta. Dr. Lokeshwar is the co-Director of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Graduate Program since 2016, the co-program leader in the natural products therapeutics initiative of the Georgia Cancer Center, and a Graduate Faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Lokeshwar’s research focuses on genitourinary cancers, specifically, prostate and bladder cancers. He directs research in basic biomedical sciences on the role of inflammation, chemokine & receptors, and cancer chemoprevention. He is the Chief Editor of the Journal of Experimental Pharmacology (John Wiley Publishers) and an Assistant Editor of Urologic Oncology (Elsevier Publishers) and several editorial boards international scientific journals. Dr. Lokeshwar’ s research is funded by the Medical College of Georgia’s Dr. Harold J. Harrison Foundation, National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, and the VA Merit research awards. Dr. Lokeshwar has mentored over 50 researchers, including Post-doctoral fellow, Ph.D. students, Resident Physicians, international visiting scientists and physicians, medical students, and pre-graduate students. Dr. Lokeshwar has over 90 publications, including peer-reviewed research publications, reviews, and books.
"When choosing a graduate program I looked at a few different schools, but AU had the
most diverse and clinically relevant program I had seen. I chose the BCB program because
of the collaborative environment throughout the department."
Meet Alyssa >>